PM Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin / File photo: ANI
Kochi: The invading Russian forces closed in on Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, a few days after unleashing the massive military attack. With the forces advancing in Ukraine by keeping all perplexed and anxious, noted international affairs expert Dr. Rajan Kumar told Mathrubhumi.com that NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is solely responsible for escalating the conflict that led to the ongoing war.
Dr. Rajan Kumar is an associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University School of International Studies. He explains in detail to the readers of Mathrubhumi.com why NATO should be blamed for the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“If you take a look at the recent developments, one can easily understand the fact that NATO is responsible for the conflict. Russia started doubting Ukraine and NATO because NATO kept insisting that it will go to Ukraine. Why does NATO want to go to Ukraine, if it is not leading to some extra security for the citizens of the country?. It is not possible to justify NATO Ukraine moves; except for one reason that NATO wants to terrorise Russia. There is no logic in NATO's moves in Ukraine as it irked Russia due to security reasons,” said Rajan Kumar.
He also said that NATO created a desire for Ukraine to be its ally but did not keep the promise. “Resultantly, Ukraine was exposed to massive security pressure from Russia and it led to a situation like this. Total noncommitment and provocation from the part of NATO worsened the situation. Of course, Russia should not have gone to war with Ukraine by further escalating the conflict. Unfortunately, European countries have failed to either resolve the issue diplomatically or by putting pressure on Russia. Even the European powers failed to interfere to establish peace through proper channels,” added Rajan Kumar.
Ukraine was cheatedOne important thing which is not being discussed in Indian media is that even during the Soviet Union period Ukraine had nuclear reactors or had a capacity to go nuclear very fast. “But Ukraine decided not to pursue its nuclear ambitions partly because of the reason that security was guaranteed by the western countries and also by Russia in a way. If Ukraine had nuclear weapons, Russia would not have attacked them or this situation would not have arisen. So in a way, the international community has cheated Ukraine. It is a fact,” said Rajan Kumar.
He also said that Russia is pursuing at the moment pure, hard-core, realist strategic interests and what that is a matter for its security concerns. “It is a threat for the European powers as it indicates that Russia is willing to go to any extent in the war. There could be other reasons also behind Russia's take over of the nuclear reactor. If some sort of people targets the nuclear installations it might lead to a massive humanitarian crisis and Russia wants to keep control of strategic installations in Ukraine to put pressure to surrender,” he added.
US' Afghan withdrawal a factorHe also pointed out that the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan must have also played a role in the Russian decision to attack Ukraine. “The US withdrawal sent a clear message to Russia that the US does not want to send or keep its forces in any other country, where its direct economic or strategic interests are not involved. Russia was very clear that the US or EU countries will not send forces to protect Ukraine and this probably paid dividends to Russia. After all, the legitimacy of US leadership has become under question again. It has failed in Iraq and Afghanistan and it has also not followed a successful policy in Ukraine. Now people doubt whether the US will stick to its commitment when Taiwan fights with a much bigger power (China), economically and militarily.
About China's open support for Russia in the conflict, he said, “China was cornered in the Indo-Pacific region by the US and it supports Russia expecting it back during conflicts in the region.”
India remains neutralHe also highlighted the need for India to be very careful by keeping a neutral stance throughout. “India should not take a one-sided blind position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. India is not explicitly supporting any of the parties in the conflict as it realises what NATO did on the borders of Russia and in the eastern European area, which is also not a good sign. NATO is a military machine and it cannot just keep expanding at the cost of another country, especially Russia. Russia has been objecting to NATO's expansion for a long period. So, there is a sense. India and Russia are very close friends, militarily and strategically. Because of this, India is not willing to take a stance in the conflict or be in a position to openly criticise Russia. At the same time, India tries to keep a good relationship with the US as well."
"India traditionally follows, even during the Cold War, a multi-alignment policy by keeping good relationships with the US and Russia. It will come under pressure with the current conflict and it is very difficult to move ahead with a decision. Remaining neutral is very important for India as we don't want to jeopardise the relationship with any. India should send the message very clearly to both parties that the conflict should end soon. India can play a very proactive role in maintaining peace as the current conflict will have a huge impact on international affairs. India should insist on maintaining the status quo on the issue of international borders. No country is supposed to change it unilaterally. Every country should follow international laws established by the United Nations. All distinguished institutions must be allowed to resolve the issue peacefully. Since nuclear power is involved, India is very cautious in dealing with the crisis,” he added.